Discuss the main feature of “Sociological School” of Jurisprudence. (2016) -10MARKS

Discuss the main feature of “Sociological School” of Jurisprudence. (2016) -10MARKS


Jurists belonging to the sociological school of thought are concerned more with the working of law rather than its abstract content. Their principal premise is that the law must be studied in action & not in textbooks. They are concerned with the study of law in relation to society. They concentrate on actual social circumstances which give rise to legal institutions. They insist that the legal order is a phase of social control & that it can’t be understood unless taken in its whole setting among social phenomena.

Sociological Approach – Nature and Meaning
Sociological approach towards study of law was a reaction and revolt against the analytical and historical school both of which regarded law as self – contained system – the former deriving validity of law from the sovereign – the law giver and the latter from the slow and silently flowing historical and cultural processes and forces. The sociological approach considers law as a social fact or reality to shape, mould and change society to sub-serve its needs, expectations and goals through law. The interrelationship between law and society and the study of community and of social phenomena, of group or individual interests and their realization ans fulfillment through law is the paramount concern of law. Of – course! The Sociological approach to the study of law is of recent origin. The other Schools have been more concerned with the nature of law and its source rather than its actual working, functioning and social ends which law strives to subserve. All the jurists who define law in relation to society in terms of ends which law serves and the interests which the law satisfies and the common good which the law seeks to achieve – thereby make law as an instrument of social control and social change are grouped together as jurists belonging to Sociological School of Jurisprudence.

factors responsible for the emergence of this school are:

(i) Mental bankruptcy of analytical approach to meet the social demands of modern society;

(ii) Conflicts b/w individual interests & social interests & the need to reconcile them;

(iii) Inter-connection b/w law and society.

(iv) Works of the earliest pioneers of the new interests in society, i.e., Bentham, Renner, Weber, etc.

The following are the main characteristics of this school:

(i) Sociological jurists r concerned more with the working of the law of the legal order & legal precepts rather than its nature.

(ii) According to Analytical jurists, law is made consciously; Historical jurists, it is something found; but the Sociological jurists regard law as social institution.

(iii) Sociological jurists lay stress upon the social purposes / securing social interests rather than on sanction.

(iv) Sociological jurists look on legal institutions, legal doctrines & legal precepts functionally … this is the functional view of law.

The objective of sociological source of jurisprudence is to resolve immediate problems of society with such tools – legal or extra legal and techniques which promote harmony & balance of interest of society.

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